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Pismo Beach Puts an End to Prayers at City Council Meetings

By   /   April 17, 2014  /   1 Comment

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CaliforniaCityNews.org-The Pismo Beach City Council voted 3 to 0 Monday to settle a lawsuit targeting its use of prayer during council meetings. Council members Kris Vardas and Mary Ann Reiss were absent for the vote.

Under the terms of the settlement, the city chaplain position will be eliminated and all forms of prayer will be discontinued. The city has also agreed to pay plaintiffs Dr. Sari Dworkin and the Freedom From Religion Foundation $1 each and will give their attorneys a minimum of $47,500 for legal fees.

Monday’s settlement follows more than 5 months of deliberations. The lawsuit, which was filed on November 1 of last year, alleged that the invocations, as well as the appointment of Pentecostal preacher Dr. Paul Jones as city chaplain, were unconstitutional.

“We are thrilled with this precedent-setting total victory,” said Andrew Seidel, staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “That said, we’re sad that there will be a burden on taxpayers when Pismo Beach could have just done the right thing in the first place.”

Pismo Beach City Attorney Dave Fleishman and City Manager Jim Lewis said the city denies liability in the case, but that the city council had ultimately decided that a legal fight would be an imprudent use of the public’s money.

Numerous other California cities, including Lancaster and Yorba Linda, have previously come under fire for their use of prayer at city council meetings. The broader issue is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently hearing a similar case out of Greece, New York. Story Source>LINK

Findings of Fact-Lancaster Lawsuit>LINK

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1 Comment

  1. Wow. This is a very interesting legal case which costs the city of Pismo Beach $47,500 in legal fees to settle. 29 Palms is under threat of a lawsuit by a citizen, yet they continue to pray pursuant to a council vote to keep prayer in government.

    Harris said, people can leave the room if they don’t like it. Did he break his campaign pledge when he said “I will represent all the people”? God does’t like people breaking pledges.

    The SCOTUS is reviewing the constitutionality test of prayer during public hearing.

    The city council has no clothes because they are forcing some people to leave the room or stay out of the room when their 29 Palms government prays.

    What in the world is Harris doiing in public office? At least Mintz spoke eloquently and responsibly during the prayer fiasco. Thank you Councilman Mintz.

    Does Harris want another four years? If so, all of us should start praying. The city is going to need God’s help.

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